Nissan celebrates racing success in 2014

Annual NISMO Festival to take place at Fuji Speedway.

The annual NISMO Festival, which takes place at Fuji Speedway this Sunday, will celebrate another year of success both on and off the track for NISMO, the motorsport and performance arm of Nissan.

NISMO has a great deal to celebrate this year after being crowned Super GT Champions at the last round at Motegi. The NISMO Festival is an opportunity to say thank you to the dedicated Japanese fans who turn out in their thousands at each round of the Super GT Championship. This year fans outside of Japan will be able to join the celebrations when the festival is streamed live on NISMO.TV.

NISMO’s 30th anniversary year has seen an exciting mix of motorsport programmes produce top results on the race tracks of the world, notching up 82 podium finishes and 42 race victories for Nissan.

Highlights of the year include the Super GT Championship win for Nissan’s new GT500 GT-R, Nissan-powered LM P2 cars winning every round so far of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the European Le Mans Series LM P2 title and the top five LM P2 positions at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 was raced by the newest NISMO Athletes in the Blancpain Endurance Series and made its first appearance at Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 12 Hours. Sir Chris Hoy started out on his road to Le Mans by racing a GT3 GT-R in the British GT Championship and Jann Mardenborough wrote another new chapter in the gamer-to-racer story by winning in his first year in the GP3 Series.

A selection of NISMO Athletes were yesterday rewarded for their 100% commitment this year with a Super GT test at Fuji. As most of them started our racing Super GT cars on Gran Turismo this was a real taste of virtual-to-reality for the ultimate gamers.

Lucas Ordonez, who made his Super GT GT300 debut this year took the wheel of a GT500 GT-R. The highlight of Jann Mardenborough’s year was his GP3 win at Hockenheim and he was delighted to also get his hands on a GT500 GT-R. Alex Buncombe also got to test the world-beating Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 as a thank you for many jaw-dropping performances this year. Wolfgang Reip, the man who took the Nissan ZEOD RC on its ground-breaking all-electric lap at Le Mans was rewarded with a test in the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT300 race car.

'Interesting test'

“That was a really interesting test,” said Ordonez. “The GT500 has a lot more downforce than the GT300 GT-R but it doesn’t have ABS and traction control so you have to work hard! I can definitely see myself racing one of these cars and I think my GT300 experience would make me a better GT500 driver. This is an ultra-competitive championship at the top level of motorsport so the fact I might one day be racing GT500 is very exciting.”

“The GT500 has been a mega experience,” said Buncombe. “It's very similar to the LM P2 cars with no driver aids so you have to be very precise. You have to trust the huge aero ability in the high-speed corners and braking zones. It certainly is a challenge to do a perfect lap but feels great when you get it right!”

“Super GT has always been on my radar,” said Mardenborough. “The racing is fierce with big manufacturer support and lots of pride at stake. The racing attracts me as there is a tyre war, which mixes up the racing even more. Testing the GT500 at Fuji was just like Gran Turismo! The GT-R has so much downforce and power; we were doing 290kph down the pit straight before turn one - the same as GT6 - but the sensation of doing it for real is terrific! The engine revs so high, very near 10000rpm. It's a very addictive and pleasant sound. A proper race car."

Success on the track breeds success off the track when racing technology transfers to an innovative range of road cars. Nissan first launched its NISMO badged performance road cars in 2013, starting with the Nissan Juke NISMO. As deliveries of the much-anticipated Nissan GT-R NISMO commence, Nissan has now sold over 20,000 NISMO road cars globally and demand continues to grow for the full range of performance vehicles.

“We’re proud of the global success of NISMO both on and off the track,” said Darren Cox, Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales, NISMO. “Our motorsport world crosses so many boundaries. We have had a Brit racing in Australia recently, a Japanese driver racing in Europe and a Spaniard competing in Japan. Our motorsport programmes have global reach and that is good for our brand. We are racing and winning all over the world and selling good volumes of cars globally. NISMO is a sporting brand with huge heritage that is now being used to showcase Nissan’s brand promise of innovation and excitement for everyone.”

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About this article
Series Super GT
Drivers Alex Buncombe , Lucas Ordonez , Jann Mardenborough , Wolfgang Reip , Chris Hoy
Teams Nissan Motorsports
Article type Special feature
Tags fuji speedway, nismo, super gt